Oh, the Places They’ll Go

University grads are kicking off exciting careers at Adobe

It’s the one thing that people love to say to graduates: Time to join the real world, eh? At Adobe, that’s a good thing—because the “real world” means a supportive team, a fun work environment, great benefits, and the ability to be on the forefront of technological change.

Julia K.
Security administrator in Lehi, Utah

Joined for:
The freedom to shape her job

On the information security team for digital marketing, Julia K. has a pretty cool job: She hires hackers—from reputable companies, of course—to hack Adobe apps and find potential security holes. The penetration testing program gives Adobe the chance to fix bugs before they become problems.

While Julia was studying at Brigham Young University, she ran into Adobe at a career fair. She knew she wanted to work in the security field but wasn’t finding a lot of companies that were serious about security.

“I was excited because Adobe was a cool, big name—and because they had a security program,” Julia says. “A lot of the other companies I found were startups, and security isn’t always a startup’s top priority.”

She began interning in May 2011, and was happy when her manager quickly put the ball in her court.

My manager said, ‘What do you want to learn? What do you want to do?’ That was really exciting because I got to shape my internship around what I wanted to do.

That’s when she started working on the penetration testing program. Soon, she was running it.

After graduation, when Julia was deciding where to take her career, she already knew she loved the company and the work. But she took some informal polls of other employees to see what they thought.

“I went around to ask people how long they had been there, and many had been here for more than seven years,” Julia says. “This is a great company, and people stay. They don’t use it as a jumping off point to something else because Adobe treats its employees very well.”

After interning for two years and working full-time for another year, Julia says she has also seen that people stay for other reasons, too.

“The people you work with are really smart, and that keeps work interesting,” she says. “But there’s also a ‘play hard’ attitude here, too. People do their jobs really well and they love to have fun.”

Raj J.
Member of technical staff in Noida, India

Joined for:
The creative environment

When Raj J. was looking for employment after graduating from India’s Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani, he had a lot of options. Big hitters like Adobe, Microsoft, and Amazon were all hiring fresh talent.

But even though Raj was graduating with a computer science degree, he didn’t want to get pigeonholed into a job that was only about the bits and bytes. And that led him to Adobe.

Adobe is different because it’s more about creativity and art and innovation than other tech companies.

“If you graduate with a major in computer science, there’s usually not much you can do with photography, for example,” Raj says. “But at Adobe, you can combine the technical and the creative. And it’s the only place you can do that.”

Today, as a member of technical staff on Adobe’s Noida campus, Raj helps to create the software that runs large-scale printers from companies like Xerox, Canon, and Fujifilm. But he’s just not a computer science guy—he’s also a photography enthusiast. And that has made his job extra-valuable as he learns about color and color conversion. He has also learned the differences in how the eye and the camera see color, and how monitors and printers process color—knowledge that informs his photography hobby.

“Everybody talks about the open culture at Adobe, but for me it’s not just about open doors,” Raj says. “It’s the fact that I can actually attend a knowledge sharing session on a completely different product, like the Creative Cloud, and my manager actually encourages me to do that.”

Laura W.
Campaign marketing manager in San Francisco

Joined for:
The MBA rotation program

It can be a little nerve-racking to graduate and take a job, wondering whether you made the right choice. For Laura W., that question was never an issue. She’s part of the MBA leadership rotation program at Adobe, which puts grads in three separate jobs, each lasting nine months, so they can then choose the job they love best.

In her first rotation as strategy and operations manager for worldwide sales, Laura found herself traveling around the world and managing a team based in India.

“I would be hard pressed to find a classmate who has had the broad diversity of experiences that I have had in my first two rotations,” Laura says. “I’ve gotten exposure to so many parts of the company.”

A broad range of experience is something Laura says she appreciates—particularly because she came to Adobe with a diverse background already under her belt. She attended film school at the University of Southern California and then spent six years as a fashion designer. That’s how she originally fell in love with Adobe.

I used Photoshop and Illustrator every single day, and they gave me a creative way to get my work done. I was really passionate about the tools, but I didn’t know I would also be as passionate about the company until I got here.

Laura quickly discovered that she’s not the only one at Adobe with a history of creative pursuits.

“One of the things I appreciate the most is that I’ve found so many other creative people here, even if they’re not in creative roles at the company,” she says. “I’ve met a product manager who also does metal sculpting and an operations manager who has a jewelry line. Everybody here is passionate, too.”

Tillmann P.
Account development manager in Munich

Joined for:
The people and technology

Tillmann P. interned with Adobe’s Worldwide Field Operations in the Munich office for three years while he was completing his degree at the Ravensburg University of Cooperative Education. It wouldn’t be surprising for someone to decide that three years was plenty of time at one company—particularly so early in one’s career. But after a two-month break for exams, Tillmann was right back at Adobe after accepting a full-time position as account development manager.

Other companies hadn’t quite developed a portfolio of digital marketing products like Adobe had.

“I looked at a few other companies,” Tillmann says. “The benefits were similar, but I stayed at Adobe because of the people. “I liked how everyone worked together. Even after my internship I kept in touch with people on a private basis, and I got one of my colleagues to be the mentor for my thesis.”

Tillmann was also excited about the product he worked on: Adobe’s Digital Marketing Suite, which helps major companies around the world manage billions of dollars in advertising and marketing spending more effectively, harnessing vast amounts of data on customer behavior. He says those companies want to work with partners who understand their needs, and coming from Adobe helps him create that connection.

“The customers I work with are big global brands in Germany,” Tillmann says. “So I can tell them that because Adobe is also a big global brand, we can identify with their problems and needs. We encounter the same obstacles and issues as they do, every day.”